The reign of God has begun. The revolution has begun. God is at work in our world, through those who have grasped the vision. You and I are part of it. We are called to live its values and to invite others to do so as well.

-Br. David Vryhof

Philip Workman Memorial Banquet

Protest Against the Death Penalty

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

At Noon

Stanyan and Haight Street

in front of

Golden Gate Park

“Justice Comes With Mercy”

Contact Fr. River Damien Sims


Vegetarian Pizza to Be Given In Philip’s Memory to the Homeless

Philip Workman experienced transformation in his life through his experience with Christ. That transformation lives on in the lives he  touched during his time in prison and in the ten years that have passed. His witness lives!  On this day we remember the tenth anniversary of Philip’s death, and we come together to protest the death penalty.

Fifteen years ago I stood by the bedside of the man who murdered someone close to me and administered the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. As he lay dying we both experienced the transforming power of God in our lives.  My life is continually being transformed with being touched by his life,  for in the midst of the pain of the death of my son and   much anger, much hate-I came face to face with Christ on the cross and I was changed.  The transformation has been in seeing life as of supreme value and that no human has the right to take another human’s  life.  We find life by giving life. Join us in protesting the death penalty. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


10: Ronald Philips–Ohio

16: Georgia–J.W. Ledford

Texas-Tilon Carter

24:  Texas-Juan Castillo

25: Alabama–Thomas Arthur




Call to Remembrance:

Today we come together to remember those on death row, and that justice is best sought through mercy rather than vengeance. We remember Philip Workman today because he is one example of how one man can be transformed on his life’s journey.  Philip was executed on May 9, 2007 for a murder that occurred decades earlier, despite doubts about his guilt.  During those years on death row his life evolved into one of service to his  fellow inmates and to people outside the walls.  Philip puts a human face on the death penalty. The pizzas we give  today are given in honor of his last request of providing his final meal of a vegetarian pizza to a homeless person. Philip is everyman on death row.

Come, let us celebrate with loud voices of praise,  to the God of many faces.  Let us celebrate the promise of the glorious liberation, that we have through the love of God, however God comes to us.

Opening Prayer  

God of compassion You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.

Expand and deepen our hearts

so that we may love as You love,

even those among us

who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.

For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance

as we fill up death row and kill the killers

in the name of justice, in the name of peace.

Jesus, our brother,

you suffered execution at the hands of the state

but you did not let hatred overcome you.

Help us to reach out to victims of violence

so that our enduring love may help them heal.

Holy Spirit of God,

You strengthen us in the struggle for justice,

help us to work tirelessly for the abolition of state-sanctioned death

and to renew our society in its very heart

so that violence will be no more. Amen. (Sr. Helen Prejean)

The Invitation to Holy Communion

Sisters and brothers, this is the joyful feast of the people of God!  They will come from east and west, from north and south, from the highways and byways, from wealth and from poverty, from the Tenderloin and Market Street, from the benches of Golden Gate Park and from the Castro, and sit at table with his disciples, he took the bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. This is the Lord’s Table, mysterious in its grace and transparent in its hospitality, caring not for gender, race, class, sexual orientation, faith tradition, or marital status, exclusive only in it’s fierce commitment to all people.

Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon this gift of pizza, so that it may be- come the body Christ. And in eating it may we see and experience your Love.

This pizza we break is your body and in sharing with everyone, we remember that we have been transformed through this Sacrament—and that in eating this pizza we become-Christ’ presence to others. See who you are, become who you see!

Sharing of Pizza—The Body of Christ

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw. D.Min. candidate, D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164